Motherhood has been a pretty consistent struggle for me, I'm sure that's no secret. It's a constant battle of dying to myself, choosing to play blocks or "imaginary voices" with Maggie when I would rather be reading a book, and just choosing not to "check out" multiple times a day. For me, this is one of the main reasons I wanted to implement some type of media fast. I noticed how often I would check my email or my Facebook or be reading the paper when one of my children would need me and I would get a little miffed internally: "Don't they see I'm doing something 'important?!'" I was noticing how easily an inner-conflict would arise in me when I was doing one of "my" activities and my kids were present. Taking a conscious break from media and limiting my times on email every day has truly reinvigorated my role as a mom. I think last week was one of the most fun weeks I've had with my kids in a very long time. I felt more relaxed, at ease, and truly enjoyed interacting with them.
I've thought about this more intently the past 7 days and am realizing that for me, motherhood is about managing the big 3 and managing them well: my time, my expectations, and my mornings. I need to use the time I do have for "my" tasks/chores/hobbies/wants well: when the kids nap, when they are having room time, when they go to bed. I need to utilize the times when they are not around to be productive on my end, or to relax well. Of course, I'm not saying only give your children 100% of your focus all day long; this isn't realistic. We have tasks to do around the house when they are with us, we need to run errands and of course, they come along, etc. I'm saying that for me, I'm learning more and more what it means to manage my time well so I can more fully enjoy my kids. And it's working. I feel this has been a 3 year process finally coming to a head last week. Along this same vein is managing expectations. If I can more realistically take a look at my day, I'll know when I can put in time to relax or time to knock some to-do's off my list in peace and quiet. This is helping me become a less frustrated and chaotic mom; I have such times built into my day so I know when to expect them. I know when they are coming and I can wait for them. And lastly, I need to start my morning before my kids; I just do. There is nothing more unpleasant for me about rubbing the sleep out of my eyes and barely having a conscious thought in my mind and having to get my children 5 minutes later. I can be pretty crabby at that point. Rather, if I wake up early, the house is quiet (and so is my mind!) and I can grab a cup of coffee, read the Word/pray/journal for a bit, then jump on a few of the those to-dos. My day starts of TREMENDOUSLY better with this one espeically in place.
Do you have a big 3?